Female Cham not laying eggs

lizardgirll

New Member
Hi everyone! I'm new to the site so I'm still trying to figure out how all this works. Anyway, I have about an 8 month old female veiled chameleon named Andi. She's very energetic and friendly and hates being inside her cage. I took her to the vet in July for a checkup and they told me that she should be laying eggs (unfertilized) in about 30-40 days. I put a little container of moss in there (per the vet's recommendation) but no eggs. After reading some of these posts, I realized she needs something better so I put a pot of sand in her tank. She still hasn't laid any eggs. She's very swollen and has been for a few months. The orange/yellow spots showed up in mid to late June. I'm not sure what to do. For lighting, I use a UVB bulb and a blue light bulb. I recently added a spot basking light because it wasn't warm enough. I spray her cage with water multiple times a day and her diet usually consists of vegetables and mealworms, sometimes crickets. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Attached are some pics of her.

andi 2.jpg
andi.jpg
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

Please post some photos or her cage, lights and all...and answer the questions in the how to ask for help thread near the top of the health forum so we can review your husbandry. Be specific please.

Please post a phot of the egglaying bin too.

Also...how many insects do you feed her in a week?
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi @lizardgirll chameleons are insectivores some may eat vegetables but providing a good variety of insects that have been well feed/gutloaded is best mealworms are not a great staple feeders, ( sometimes not recommended) charts added to help.
 

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lizardgirll

New Member
Welcome to the forum!

Please post some photos or her cage, lights and all...and answer the questions in the how to ask for help thread near the top of the health forum so we can review your husbandry. Be specific please.

Please post a phot of the egglaying bin too.

Also...how many insects do you feed her in a week?
This is her cage, I removed the poop from the sand after I took these. The spot basking bulb is the single one, it currently is not one because I was having a feeling she didn't like it. I feed her about 15 worms every other day so maybe about 45-60 worms a week, most likely less, however she will eat bugs that she finds including flys and spiders. I will post the husbandry form to my original post so it's easy to find.
 

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lizardgirll

New Member
Hi everyone! I'm new to the site so I'm still trying to figure out how all this works. Anyway, I have about an 8 month old female veiled chameleon named Andi. She's very energetic and friendly and hates being inside her cage. I took her to the vet in July for a checkup and they told me that she should be laying eggs (unfertilized) in about 30-40 days. I put a little container of moss in there (per the vet's recommendation) but no eggs. After reading some of these posts, I realized she needs something better so I put a pot of sand in her tank. She still hasn't laid any eggs. She's very swollen and has been for a few months. The orange/yellow spots showed up in mid to late June. I'm not sure what to do. For lighting, I use a UVB bulb and a blue light bulb. I recently added a spot basking light because it wasn't warm enough. I spray her cage with water multiple times a day and her diet usually consists of vegetables and mealworms, sometimes crickets. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Attached are some pics of her.

View attachment 309444 View attachment 309445
Your Chameleon – Veiled Chameleon, female, about 8 months old, got her in February 2021.
Handling – I handle her every day, usually taking her out more than once a day.
Feeding – Mostly feed her small mealworms, about 15 every other day. I will give her red bell peppers and peas/green beans. She also eats the occasional spider and random bugs she finds when she’s out of her cage (I watch her closely and make sure the bugs aren’t poisonous to her). I get her crickets a few times a month and feed them Fluker’s Cricket Quencher.
Supplements – I dust worms and crickets with Zoo Med’s Repitvite (without D3) and Zoo Med’s Repti-Calcium.
Watering – I mist her cage with a spray bottle every couple hours. I don’t see her drink from the leaves but I spray her mouth until she starts drinking (I don’t force it).
Fecal Description – Has not been tested for parasites. Feces are brown, usually goes every few days, maybe two or three times a week.
History – She has eaten a lot of dirt, she loves it. I had to put screen around her plants so she can’t get to it. I’m worried she’s also eating the sand for her to lay eggs. She has also tried eating fake plants. She is always running around her cage wanting to get out. She loves sitting on blinds and looking out the window. Her orange/yellow spots showed up mid to late June 2021.
Cage Info: Zoo Med’s Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit. Came with cage, fake leaves, fake vine, felt for bottom, calcium, and lights
Cage Type – Screen cage. About 30in H x 16in L x 16in W.
Lighting – Zoo Med 5.0 UVB bulb, blue light bulb and 75w spot basking bulb. Schedule is usually 7am-7pm. I used to use a timer to make it exact but left it at home when I moved, so the schedule is a little wonky at the moment but when I get a timer, it will be 7am-7pm.
Temperature – I use a Zoo Med thermometer. The highest the temp goes is usually 73 degrees, which is why I bought the spot basking light, but it doesn’t seem to help much. The temp at night is usually 69 degrees. She stays at the top of her cage mostly.
Humidity – I don’t measure humidity, I just go by the temp.
Plants – Used to have a Yucca plant, small pathos and a Schefflera arboricola, then switched to hibiscus, but now she has the small pathos, and schefflera arboricola.
Placement – Cage is located out of sight next to a window. There is a ceiling fan in the same room. The distance from the floor to top of the cage is 55 in.
Location – Tennessee.
Current Problem – She needs to lay eggs but hasn’t. Her stomach is very swollen. The vet indicated that it would be 30-40 days until she laid eggs, but that was almost 2 months ago
 

lizardgirll

New Member
Hi @lizardgirll. Have you filled out a husbandry form since joining, doing so will best help members give the best advice so do you have pictures of your full enclosure
I filled the form out and it should be in the bottom of this thread.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my feedback in red.
Your Chameleon – Veiled Chameleon, female, about 8 months old, got her in February 2021.
Handling – I handle her every day, usually taking her out more than once a day. If you’re expecting her to lay eggs, you shouldn’t handle her.
Feeding – Mostly feed her small mealworms, about 15 every other day. I will give her red bell peppers and peas/green beans. She also eats the occasional spider and random bugs she finds when she’s out of her cage (I watch her closely and make sure the bugs aren’t poisonous to her). I get her crickets a few times a month and feed them Fluker’s Cricket Quencher. There’s major changes here you need to make. Mealworms are ok for once in a rare while, but not as staples. @Flick boy already gave you the feeder and gutloading graphics. Try to have at least 2-3 staple feeders and offer an assortment. My staple feeders are roaches, silkworms and crickets, with the occasional superworm and pupated bsfl as treats. The cricket quencher will keep your bugs alive for a short time, but you need them to be healthy in order to be nutritious for your chameleon. Also, you are potentially over feeding. I feed my girls 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week (plus treats). More on this later.
Supplements – I dust worms and crickets with Zoo Med’s Repitvite (without D3) and Zoo Med’s Repti-Calcium. You don’t say how often you are using these. You should be using the calcium without D3 at every feeding except once per week. For that one feeding you’ll rotate using the Reptivite without D3 with a multivitamin. So, weeks 1&3, one feeding with Reptivite and weeks 2&4, one feeding with a multivitamin.
Watering – I mist her cage with a spray bottle every couple hours. I don’t see her drink from the leaves but I spray her mouth until she starts drinking (I don’t force it). Many chams are very secretive about drinking. Mine won’t drink if I’m even in the same room. Is better to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Let the enclosure dry out. Some choose to use a dripper instead of a mid day misting, and that’s fine for about 15-20 mins.
Fecal Description – Has not been tested for parasites. Feces are brown, usually goes every few days, maybe two or three times a week. It’s always a good idea to have a fecal check for parasites. Since she’s already had a vet visit, you should be able to drop off a fresh sample for testing.
History – She has eaten a lot of dirt, she loves it. I had to put screen around her plants so she can’t get to it. Using river rocks that are too large for her to ingest around the plants will help with soil eating. I’m worried she’s also eating the sand for her to lay eggs. She may be. Just taking a random guess that she may be eating soil as she hasn’t been getting any D3. Honestly, I don’t know but often humans and animals will eat soil and other things (called pica) to get the nutrients they are lacking. She has also tried eating fake plants. Yes, she will and this is why you should have only live and safe plants. It only takes one bite of a fake leaf to get impacted and that could be fatal if untreated promptly. She is always running around her cage wanting to get out. More on this in a minute. She loves sitting on blinds and looking out the window. Her orange/yellow spots showed up mid to late June 2021.
Cage Info: Zoo Med’s Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit. Came with cage, fake leaves, fake vine, felt for bottom, calcium, and lights The majority of the items in the kit you’ll find aren’t useful. Not your fault…Zoo Med needs to stop making them.
Cage Type – Screen cage. About 30in H x 16in L x 16in W. Your little lady has outgrown this and needs more space. This is why she’s so eager to come out of her enclosure…she doesn’t like it. The minimum size is a 2x2x4’ or equivalent. If I can find it, I’ll post a pic of the size difference.
Lighting – Zoo Med 5.0 UVB bulb, blue light bulb and 75w spot basking bulb. Schedule is usually 7am-7pm. I used to use a timer to make it exact but left it at home when I moved, so the schedule is a little wonky at the moment but when I get a timer, it will be 7am-7pm. Sad to say, but your uvb isn’t doing much in the way of providing any uvb at any distance past 2-3” directly below it. You’ll need to get a linear T5 fixture with either a 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. It’ll need to be long enough to span the width of the enclosure. You’ll then want the light to be around 8-9” above basking area. Your 12 hour schedule is perfect! You may also want to invest in a good plant light to help keep your plants alive.
Temperature – I use a Zoo Med thermometer. The highest the temp goes is usually 73 degrees, which is why I bought the spot basking light, but it doesn’t seem to help much. The temp at night is usually 69 degrees. She stays at the top of her cage mostly. You’ll want basking temp to be around 80. What is the wattage of the basking light? I use a 60 watt and it provides the perfect temp at basking area. Or your thermometer isn’t working properly. Best thermometer is a digital one with a probe tip. Your night time temp drop is ideal.
Humidity – I don’t measure humidity, I just go by the temp. It’s really important to measure humidity. Ideal range during the day is between 30-50%. At night when it’s cool, it can go up to 80-100% which simulates natural hydration thru ‘fog’. Again, digital hygrometer with a probe works well.
Plants – Used to have a Yucca plant, small pathos and a Schefflera arboricola, then switched to hibiscus, but now she has the small pathos, and schefflera arboricola. I’m going to guess the hibiscus died. They have very high light needs. Pothos and philodendron are great and will grow fine without special lighting. For just about all others though, they’ll do better with or need grow lights. I use this and it’s strong enough for hibiscus. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKKG8Q3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Placement – Cage is located out of sight next to a window. There is a ceiling fan in the same room. The distance from the floor to top of the cage is 55 in. Be careful that any sunlight coming in won’t overheat her. Also in cooler months make sure there’s no drafts from the window. I have my chams almost to the ceiling. The higher they are, the safer they feel.
Location – Tennessee.
Current Problem – She needs to lay eggs but hasn’t. Her stomach is very swollen. The vet indicated that it would be 30-40 days until she laid eggs, but that was almost 2 months ago I’m going to question the experience and knowledge of your vet because they told you to give her lay bin of moss. Although they did better than one I went to that said there was no way to tell if my cham had eggs or not…:rolleyes: hellooo…x rays!
Anyhow, as this is already quite long, let me address this in a separate post.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m really hoping that your girl will be able to lay her eggs without any problems as she hasn’t been getting any D3 or adequate uvb. Without those, her body can’t convert calcium into usable form which affects everything, but can also be a big problem in forming the eggs properly. I’m going to suggest taking her to another vet and if you let us know your general area, there is a member who is the best at finding good vets.
Assuming there are no problems though, this is how laying should go.
You’ll need the lay bin to be about 12” wide and long and at least 8” deep. You’ll fill it to only 6” deep with play sand that you need to moisten until it will hold a tunnel without collapsing. They don’t just dig straight down, but also go across a bit. You’ll also need to provide at least 1-2 ways for her to get in/out of the bin. Once she enters her bin and starts digging, you’ll need to give her absolute privacy. I cover mine with a light sheet that I’ve made little peep holes thru so I can monitor them. First she’ll be face first in her hole, digging away. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. She may even sleep in one at night. Once she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and lay her eggs. When finished, she’ll cover all of her holes/tunnels thoroughly and be sitting in her basking area, looking dirty and much thinner. The whole process from start to finish usually takes 1-2 days. After she’s all done, you’ll want to feed and hydrate her very well for the next 2-3 days. I give hornworms along with my usual staple feeders to help hydrate my girl. After you’ve helped her recovery with good feeding for 2-3 days, you’ll return to your usual feeding schedule, which I suggest 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week. Give at least a day or so to remove the eggs and count them. If she hasn’t been with a male, they are infertile and can be thrown away. I know…all that work and their eggs go in the trash.
Laying really takes a lot out of our little ladies and shortens their lives. It’s thru reduced feeding and basking temps that we can try (and often succeed) in reducing their egg production. Not to mention, larger clutches of eggs are more likely to result in egg binding and other serious problems.
Signs to watch for that your girl may be having problems and needs a vet immediately: dropping eggs here and there, any blood from her cloaca, closing her eyes during the day, lethargy, staying low in her enclosure/not basking and anything else that seems out of her norms…listen to your gut feelings.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s the comparison between enclosure sizes. I couldn’t believe it when I first upgraded! As you can see, this is when I was first starting out and getting everything right for my first cham.

DCB48338-41A2-4564-B97D-D6D0AAC7C4A6.jpeg
You’ll also want to add many more branches and vines. I use branches from outside…just wash with Dawn dish soap, blast with the hose and let sun dry. Avoid pine and other trees with sap. The rope and hammock can pose a risk for little claws getting stuck and ripped out. Here’s a pic of one of my enclosures. I use dragon ledges to attach my branches and plants. It was for a male panther, so I didn’t need a lay bin and could be a little more liberal with plant choices.
858E30D2-12BF-4B5D-AA52-88C6E0B383D2.jpeg
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
It's been too long for the normal time it takes to form the eggs...so she should have laid them by now. I'm thinking she might be eggbound.

Do you ever take her outside in the sunlight? With the lack of vitamin D3 and proper UVB, I don't know how she's not showing signs of MBD.

I'm not a fan of blue light...I always use white light.
 

lizardgirll

New Member
I’m really hoping that your girl will be able to lay her eggs without any problems as she hasn’t been getting any D3 or adequate uvb. Without those, her body can’t convert calcium into usable form which affects everything, but can also be a big problem in forming the eggs properly. I’m going to suggest taking her to another vet and if you let us know your general area, there is a member who is the best at finding good vets.
Assuming there are no problems though, this is how laying should go.
You’ll need the lay bin to be about 12” wide and long and at least 8” deep. You’ll fill it to only 6” deep with play sand that you need to moisten until it will hold a tunnel without collapsing. They don’t just dig straight down, but also go across a bit. You’ll also need to provide at least 1-2 ways for her to get in/out of the bin. Once she enters her bin and starts digging, you’ll need to give her absolute privacy. I cover mine with a light sheet that I’ve made little peep holes thru so I can monitor them. First she’ll be face first in her hole, digging away. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. She may even sleep in one at night. Once she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and lay her eggs. When finished, she’ll cover all of her holes/tunnels thoroughly and be sitting in her basking area, looking dirty and much thinner. The whole process from start to finish usually takes 1-2 days. After she’s all done, you’ll want to feed and hydrate her very well for the next 2-3 days. I give hornworms along with my usual staple feeders to help hydrate my girl. After you’ve helped her recovery with good feeding for 2-3 days, you’ll return to your usual feeding schedule, which I suggest 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week. Give at least a day or so to remove the eggs and count them. If she hasn’t been with a male, they are infertile and can be thrown away. I know…all that work and their eggs go in the trash.
Laying really takes a lot out of our little ladies and shortens their lives. It’s thru reduced feeding and basking temps that we can try (and often succeed) in reducing their egg production. Not to mention, larger clutches of eggs are more likely to result in egg binding and other serious problems.
Signs to watch for that your girl may be having problems and needs a vet immediately: dropping eggs here and there, any blood from her cloaca, closing her eyes during the day, lethargy, staying low in her enclosure/not basking and anything else that seems out of her norms…listen to your gut feelings.
Thank you for all the info. I've gotten a T8 light with a 5.0 UVB and I also paired it with a 75watt basking light. I ordered roaches that should be coming in on Saturday. Until then I'm giving her crickets every other day dusted with Reptivite calcium with D3. The pot of sand is 10" w and 8" h. I won't handle her as much. How long do you think until she lays eggs with these changes?
 

lizardgirll

New Member
It's been too long for the normal time it takes to form the eggs...so she should have laid them by now. I'm thinking she might be eggbound.

Do you ever take her outside in the sunlight? With the lack of vitamin D3 and proper UVB, I don't know how she's not showing signs of MBD.

I'm not a fan of blue light...I always use white light.
I used to take her outside quite a bit, but not much anymore. I did get a T8 light with 5.0 UVB and D3.
 
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